The new boots are right here next to me. Kind of like the headless horseman, they stand erect, tall, but empty – waiting for feet and legs to take them for a walk.
Poised here by my writing desk, they exude the scent of leather, fresh and pristine. What other scents will soon mingle with these boots? The stale smell of an airplane’s interior? The damp undergrowth of an ancient forest? The salt and stone of a seaside village?
This is not my first pair. The original boots I ordered arrived by mail two weeks ago and when I slipped them on, my feet were swimming. What does it mean when the dream boots that took six years in coming are finally on your feet and they don’t fit? They were meant to carry me through visions of grandeur. Were my imaginings rooted in shoes too big to fill? My heels are narrow and the wiggle room inside those boots were a set up for floppy hikes and blister city.
Alas, I conceded. Let them go. They had to be returned.
There is a happy ending, though. Or, hopefully, a happy beginning.
I ordered a smaller size.
Perhaps I needed an exercise in holding out for exactly what I wanted. Making sure I had a perfect fit – solid, secure, grounded and ready for action. My alternate, smaller versions arrived in good time and when I tried them on, they hugged my feet in promised support. A fine balance of good sizing with just enough room for future stretch and give.
So this morning, it’s not yet sunrise. 75 degrees and 83% humidity. I’ve slipped my bare island feet into my boots and zipped them to my knees. I can sit with the twittering of song birds and the random wake-up calls of roosters. Ask these kicks, “What’s our first adventure?”
I hold an element of hesitancy, not wanting to mar their pristine state. I know that once I walk into the world with these, I am committed. Stepping beyond my front door to touch down on real-life soil, makes them mine. There is no more return.
Maybe I’m not quite ready (though opportunities for wear are limited in this May, tropical clime). Perhaps I need to keep them in. Just slip them on at dawn and dream a bit. Ask them where they’d like to wander.
Zipped up tight, I can imagine earthy realms where we could travel. Safe within my mind, scenarios are left to the place where I still can edit. Fast forward, rewind, delete. Maybe I’m not quite ready to set foot completely on the real path – muddy, rocky, leading to the unknown.
This morning these boots feel snug and full of promise. They’ll wait patiently for me to live the script. Ready when I am, to set foot outside.